Democrats and Republicans alike are urging presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to release more of his tax records. So far the former Massachusetts governor has put forth his returns for 2010 and an estimate for 2011 (he says he will release the full 2011 record as soon as it is ready). However, as President Obama's campaign continues to hammer Romney on his business and financial history, Romney's refusal to release more returns have some questioning whether he is trying to hide something.
That Romney is very wealthy is no secret. However the Obama campaign is slamming him on reports that he avoided paying taxes on much of his wealth by hiding it in offshore accounts and using other tax loopholes. Making matters worse is that Romney's own father, George Romney released 12 years of his tax returns when he ran for president in 1968. Obama released seven years of tax returns during 2008's campaign.
Republicans fear that by refusing to release his taxes, Romney is allowing Obama to control the narrative of the campaign, undermining the Romney platform that his business experience equips him to do a better job than the president has to create jobs and reboot the economy. They say that Romney's refusal to release more of his returns is distracting the country from Obama's lackluster economic record as president.
However, Romney defended his decision not to release the returns, telling Fox News that "the Obama people keep on wanting more and more and more—more things to pick through, more things for their opposition research to try and make a mountain out of and to distort and to be dishonest about."
Should Mitt Romney release more of his returns? Here is the Debate Club's take:
Penny Lee President of Venn Strategies
Brad Bannon President of Bannon Communications Research
Matt Mackowiak President of Potomac Strategy Group